–Likely to get $2bn petroleum assistance from KSA
–Saudi delegation may also invest in Balochistan’s Reko Diq gold and copper mines
ISLAMABAD: After a formal request, Pakistan is likely to get $2 billion worth petroleum products from Saudi Arabia on deferred payments for two years, sources revealed on Monday.
Pakistan formally requested Saudi Arabia to provide 0.2-million-barrel oil per day on deferred payments for as much as three months, while $2 billion worth oil supply for at least two years, sources added.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan can get the same facility from the United Arab Emirates if Saudi Arabia agrees to provide oil on credit, as Pakistan imports oil worth $4.75 billion from UAE annually.
As per details, the delegations of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia held the first round of talks in Islamabad on Monday. Sources in the Ministry of Energy informed Pakistan Today that during the talks, Saudi investors expressed keen interest to invest in the power sector of Pakistan.
The Saudi delegation was headed by Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources Advisor Ahmad Hameed Al-Ghamdi, while Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan led the Pakistani side.
Minister Omar Ayub Khan welcomed the Saudi delegation and reiterated Pakistan’s close fraternal ties with Saudi Arabia and the government’s commitment to strengthen the bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest.
He also informed that Pakistan had become a rapidly developing country having tremendous opportunities in the energy sector. The minister further said that Pakistan had turned into an investor friendly-country and it completely facilitated and safeguarded the interests of foreign investors.
The minister also highlighted that there were great opportunities to invest in the field of electricity generation and transmission.
Briefing on the potential sites for solar, wind and hydel energy, the minister said that the present government was keen to harness the potential for renewable energy, making it affordable for the people.
Pakistan has also sought Saudi investment in the flagship project of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) – the Main Line 1 (ML1) – that will see the expansion, reconstruction of the Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar railway track.
Meanwhile, Saudi Energy Minister Ahmed Hamid Ghamedi also held talks with Abdul Razak Dawood, who addressed the matter of increasing the job quota for Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia.
‘MEETING WITH SAUDI OFFICIALS VERY PRODUCTIVE’:
The Saudi delegation on Monday also met Finance Minister Asad Umar and discussed issues of bilateral interests.
During the meeting, the minister stressed that Saudi Arabia has always been a true friend of Pakistan.
Speaking to a private media outlet later in the day, the finance minister said the meeting with Saudi officials was very productive. However, he said, it was premature to forecast the actual volume of investment coming from Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan and Saudi delegation are expected to sign four MoUs for oil and mineral sector investment and trade cooperation that would ultimately extend the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from Gwadar to Africa through Oman and Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia had also offered to set up a multi-billion-dollar oil refinery in Gwadar besides acquiring stakes in LNG-fired power plants in Punjab, according to an official of the commerce ministry.
During its six-day visit to Pakistan, the Saudi delegation is likely to sign a MoU to make investments in the Balochistan Reko Diq gold and copper mines. Similarly, agreements to sale of phosphate-containing fertilisers to Pakistan is also expected to be signed by the delegation.
Last week, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said pacts with Saudi Arabia will be transparent and a huge investment will be made by the country.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed “three grant agreements” to bring major investment in the country after the former invited the country to become the third partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan, he said.